Stagecoach £4million investment for 24 new Thanet Loop buses

(1) Stagecoach South East Managing Director Joel Mitchell with one of the brand new Loop buses.

Twenty-four new Stagecoach buses will be running in Thanet from next month.

The £4 million investment is for the fleet of bio-diesel single deckers will operate on the popular high frequency Loop service connecting Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Westwood and Margate.

The new buses come with the latest ‘Euro 6’ cleaner and greener engines that meet the Government’s Low Carbon Emission Bus specification and London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone standard.

Joel Mitchell, Managing Director at Stagecoach South East, said: “This is a huge investment in the community – providing higher standards of mobility and helping to improve air quality for Thanet.

“We want to support a low carbon future and give commuters, shoppers, families and students, a fantastic travelling experience.”

Stagecoach says the Loop carried more than 4 million passengers in 2018 with the buses running around every 8 minutes Mondays to Saturdays and every 10 minutes on Sundays.

As well as being more environmentally friendly, the buses are equipped with WiFi and USB charging points to keep customers connected and fully charged whilst on the move. They offer more room and comfort than their predecessors with high back double-padded seats and a striking new Loop livery on the outside.

Stagecoach has also confirmed that the new buses will be fitted with next stop audio visual announcements making it easier for passengers to identify which bus stop they’re approaching. The bus company says that this will be helpful to those people who may be new to the area, visiting or customers that require a little more help with bus travel.

All the new vehicles have been built in the UK, helping to support hundreds of British manufacturing jobs and smaller businesses in the supply chain.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said: “Bus services are essential for enabling people to get to work, school, access healthcare or simply visit friends or go shopping. As the local MP I am committed to supporting our bus services in Thanet and very much welcome the news that £4 million has been invested by Stagecoach in 24 British-built single deck buses to operate on the Thanet Loop, a service that I regularly use.”

Thanet residents will have the chance to take a sneak peak at one of new buses during a series of bus road shows.  A bus will be on show at Westwood Cross Shopping Centre on Tuesday June 25 and on Wednesday, June 26 at Ramsgate Harbour in the morning and at Margate’s Cecil Square during the afternoon.

30 Comments

  1. Bus services in Thanet have been cut this year due to conservative transport policy and stagecoach putting profits before people. Bus prices have gone up at double rate of inflation.

  2. Cllr Lewis and it’s kent county council are the ones who cut the bus routes not just stagecoach let’s get the information correct please

    • KCC had four subsidised routes in Thanet but only kept one going despite a vigorous campaign, petitions and packed public meetings in Broadstairs. One was packed with angry bus users who relied on the 56 bus. Another brought the cabinet member at KCC to Broadstairs to face questions from those who used the four routes. Three went and the remaining one, the 38, merged with the 33 (that was a poor replacement anyway for the 8A),and a route was created by-passing Broadstairs Station, the library and the Broadway Surgery. Living in Kingsgate, Reading Street areas we no longer have a direct link with Westwood either.

      Many pensioners, those with a disability, parents with young children now find it difficult to get out and about, creating social isolation.

      Stagecoach managers told me ‘We’re not a public service, we’re a commercial company’, in other words profits before people.

      • Sorry Jennifer. I agree with most of your work, but not half of what you’ve put in this post. Stagecoach is a commercial company, and they have to make money. They cannot be expected to run a service which has a £100,000+ deficit – I’m with Stagecoach on that, blame KCC not Stagecoach.

  3. Necessary new buses does not make Stagecoach’s monopoly on local public transport acceptable. The fares are very high and no cheaper option for short rides. Public transport has to be public. If London can support its residents and visitors, so can Kent!

  4. John , I led campaign to stop the cuts to bus services in Thanet as a labour county councillor, Tory s pushed it through giving the saved money to west Kent, John, ask the hundreds of people who came to the protest meeting in broadstairs I organised plus the thousands who Signe the petition I helped present to kcc . Please do not spread fake news about me,Thank you

  5. As a pensioner I use the Loop at least 4 times a week, and am looking forward to riding on these new buses, if they have a audio/visual sign telling passengers what is the next stop! The present buses steam up in the winter, and its impossible to see out in the dark, especially if its raining, so its not easy to see when your stop is coming up to ring the bell for the driver to stop! A bit more room is welcome too, especially for young mums with prams, or wheelchair users!

  6. Stagecoach are a privately owned monopoly and some of its practices derive from its predecessors BET and NBC.Would more competition or a state run service do better is a matter for conjecture and debate.Unlike a railway a bus company does not require a vertically integrated organisation.
    The new buses are welcome, but the existing fleet is ageing at nearly 7 years old for operating on what is an intensive service.The equivalent in London would be younger and probably be some form of lower emission vehicle.There are even some 13 year old vehicles in use to supplement the service.
    These look like new versions of the old Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 design albeit with wi-fi and euro 6 diesels (the old vehicles had euro 5).They should be euro 6d are they?
    The loop could be operated by an all electric opp charged/flash charged fleet with no emissions,it would be quieter and have a longer life. If euro 7 does not happen then all electric will be a must.
    The loop is good place to try out opp charged electrics and therefore this is a lost opportunity.Perhaps an opp charged system could be considered in the future and then these vehicles could be cascaded elsewhere.Alexander Dennis do make an EV version using Chinese components

  7. Just wondering, when Manston Airport is up and running, will the Loop bus go via Manston Airport.

      • Yes I am Serious, got to know if it’s going via the Airport, or I will have to catch the train, into the Airport, when the link is put in, to take the passengers to London, with Boris becoming, the next PM, he will cancel the 3rd runway at Heathrow, then open up Manston, as the next London Airport, or shouldn’t I have said this.Ops.

        • If Manston reopens (extremely unlikely) then it will be a freight hub, for freight.
          Goodness knows how they’ll get the freight to/from Manston to/from anywhere else, given that there is no rail connection, and (as correspondents keep telling us) the roads are already chock-a-block.

  8. Sounds great and I applaud all the changes, good improvements, but have the designers managed to incoperate cool air conditioning. Just travelled on loop from Ramsgate to Cliftonville, heaters pumping out hot air and bus so hot and uncomfortable and we have not got to high summer yet

    • I was on the Loop from Ramsgate this morning. The bus was very hot, and the grey radiators (if that’s what they are) along its sides were hot to touch. But the driver said the heating was off. The windows were impossible to open for at least two passengers. Surely there’s no need for heating now.

  9. With any luck Manston will never have an airport again. It’s a pity that Heathrow will be expanding despite the dire environmental straits that our planet is now in.

    Didn’t the Government pledge to cut carbon emissions? It should be able to, it’s had lots of practice in severely cutting various other things, after all.

  10. It’s all very well having swish new buses with usb etc. Many people who live elsewhere other than near the Loop route would welcome a bus of any sort. Services of fewer than 1 per hour, none in the evenings or on Sundays and bank holidays are the norm.

  11. John, as Labour KCC Councillor for Margate Cllr Lewis has opposed the bus cuts at county hall, but the conservative administration their that forced the through in spote of the opposition from Cllr Lewis and hundreds of Thanet residents, who turned up at public meetings and signed petitions on the issue.

    • Barry along with fellows KCC councillors Karen Constantine and Ros Binks, fully suported the campaigns to keep the subsidised routes. We even had MP, Craig Mackinlay,at two meetings along with hundreds of bus users whom he assured ‘ The 56 bus route is safe. KCC will take on board your concerns’. Well, they didn’t and the various petitions we handed over were never received by the relevant KCC officers who denied such petitions even existed.

  12. Stage coach is a commercial concern, not a social service. Their first duty is to make a profit for their shareholders, not to provide a service.
    If it can make lots of money on a few key routes, then that’s all it will do.
    I can’t remember which political party it was that deregulated the buses, but it dealt a blow to people who relied on public transport and didn’t live near a key route.

  13. In most cases, when travelling with a few friends, a cab is cheaper or around the same price as a bus. Bus fares are far too expensive in Thanet.

    • I think that’s true over short distances. But longer journeys, especially if you buy a Dayrider ticket, that’s excellent value. But only if you can actually get on a bus!

  14. All that money spent on new buses but stagecoach cannot subsidise essential services I’m areas not I’m town centres what a shambles they should think long and hard about the latest cuts to services!

  15. Called loopy because it’s expensive and the buses we have now are looper. Who cut the services loopy decision based on money and greed at County level. Cut county wages that would bring bus services back… Loopy expenses loopy car expenses and scheme cut them you be loopy not to wake up and smell the bacon. Who owned the airport stagecoach, Brian souter Anne gloag brother and they operated out of a Panama papers address 50 lothian Square Scotland so your council local n Kent were working with money launderers.

  16. I have read the good and bad comments about about stagecoach some say fares are high I have been on there buses in East Kent and west Kent and Sussex the fare there is a lot higher than in Thanet.
    We have the best bus service in the country. I tried to work with stagecoach over the years to bring in modern buses. That are better for our local environment.at last we have better buses coming along.only one downside how long will keep these vehicles in Thanet before they are shipped to the more affluent areas in Kent.
    I watch stagecoach regularly new vehicles disappeared from the district after time.they should not have cut services. That make enough money on the more profit making routes in the district.i was chairman of the Thanet travel forum for at least 16 years giving a voice to the passenger.the forum does not exist any more as we all get older.

  17. Despite all the politics, thank you Stagecoach for the investment in our area and the more eco-friendly buses.

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